Aleks Krotoski

The Guardian, Thursday 30 April 2009

Last weekend, the Department for Health released its latest TV ad in the Change4Life campaign. It features a clay modelled family coming to the realisation that the scientists are right: a sedentary lifestyle leads to health problems. “Throw down the remote! Chuck away the joystick! Stop eating greasy takeaways!” was the message. “Save our NHS from an epidemic of fatties!” was the subtext. And dutifully, the family did as they were told and started freakin’ on Dance Dance Revolution.

The videogame industry is taking this as a personal win. A month ago, it publicly raged against the government for condemning games as a one-way ticket to six feet under. The print Change4Life campaign, which ran on buses and billboards for a fortnight, depicted a pre-teen slumped against a wall with a console controller under the shock headline: “Do nothing, risk an early DEATH.” All that was missing was a bit of drool coming out of the kid’s mouth.

Continue reading